A's Add Webb To 40-Man; Sign Vet Schroder

On the day before the deadline to set their 40-man roster for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, the Oakland A's announced that they had added right-hander Ryan Webb and had signed reliever Chris Schroder to a major league deal. We have the details of those moves, plus other news and notes inside...

November 20th is the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters before the Rule 5 draft in early December. The Oakland A's had three open spots on their 40-man roster going into the day and they filled two of those slots with reliever Chris Schroder and right-hander Ryan Webb.

Schroder, who was a minor-league free agent, comes to the A's on a major league contract. The right-hander has appeared in 62 major league games over the past three seasons for the Washington Nationals. He has a 4.46 ERA over that time period with 85 strike-outs in 78.2 innings. Schroder spent most of the 2008 season in Triple-A, where he had a 3.97 ERA in 45.1 innings. He struck-out 55 batters.

Schroder has a fastball that registers about 90 MPH with late life, as well as a change-up and a slider. The slider is a more recent addition for Schroder, who worked with former A's right-hander Jose Rijo on the pitch.

Webb was added to the A's roster after he posted a 5.19 ERA in 130 innings for Double-A Midland in 2008. The 6'6'' right-hander was a fourth round selection by the A's in 2004 out of a Clearwater, Florida, high school. Webb will be 23 at the start of next season. The right-hander's fastball was clocked in the 92-94 range this season after sitting in the 88-92 range in previous years.

The A's will be leaving a number of candidates to be picked vulnerable to the Rule 5 draft, including left-hander Brad Kilby, outfielder Danny Putnam, catcher Anthony Recker and first baseman Tom Everidge. With the one open spot on their current 40-man roster, Oakland will have option of selecting up to one player at the time of the Rule 5 draft.

A's Ink Independent Leaguer

The Oakland A's also acquired reliever Jonathan Hunton from the independent Fort Worth Cats of the American Association this week. The 6'9'' right-hander went 5-1 with an 0.81 ERA and 23 saves for the Cats in 2008. He was a 2004 11th round pick of the Chicago Cubs out of Lamar University.

Hunton last pitched in affiliated baseball in 2006 when he went 6-5 with a 4.32 ERA and 54 strike-outs in 66.2 innings for Daytona of the Florida State League. The 26-year-old has yet to pitch above the Double-A level, but he was considered one of the top arms available from the independent league circuit this off-season.

The New Jersey native runs his fastball up to the plate in the 88-91 range and he features a split-finger fastball and a change-up. He is now the tallest player in the A's system.

Mazzaro Racks Up Another Honor

Right-hander Vince Mazzaro added another trophy to his crowded case on Wednesday, as he was named to the Topps' Double-A All-Star team. He was the only A's representative on the team.

Mazzaro, who was the Texas League ERA king, earned the league's Pitcher of the Year award earlier in the off-season. The right-hander, who was a third-round pick of the A's in 2005, went 12-3 with a 1.90 ERA in 137.1 innings for Double-A Midland this past season.

Phoenix Headed To Championship Game, Again

The Phoenix Desert Dogs will be looking to make it five Arizona Fall League titles in a row on Saturday. The Desert Dogs will meet the Mesa Solar Sox in the one-game, winner-takes-all championship tilt.

A's prospects have had a big part in the Desert Dogs' success this fall. A's prospect Andrew Carignan has been the Dogs' closer and leads the team with six saves. He also has 1.50 ERA and 18 strike-outs in 12 innings. Fellow relief prospect Andrew Bailey has allowed only one run in 13 innings (0.69 ERA) and he has 15 strike-outs. A's reliever Jeff Gray has allowed only two earned runs in 11 innings, as well.

On offense, outfielder/first-baseman Sean Doolittle has been one of the team's top performers. He has a 936 OPS and eight homers in 31 games. Doolittle leads the team with 26 RBIs. Catcher/infielder Josh Donaldson has four homeruns and is batting .290.

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